This Week on Monsters & Hamsters: More of The Same

Went on a bit of a good-natured tear on the differences and similarities between public and community radio during the open tonight. Good thing we’re not on a tight clock. I don’t normally post myself yapping, but this was fun and some folks may find it interesting.

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Got no plans for the show this week other than PSAs, papers, and playing stuff off the latest releases from The Devil Makes Three (Ruin & Redemption) and the DiTrani Brothers (self-titled, produced by Pete Bernhard of TDM3). Both so good!

As usual, it’ll also be open phones at 802-460-9665 ext 100, and open studio at 33 Bridge St in Bellow Falls. Wednesday night from 7 to 9. TDM3 or the DiTranis are welcome to call or come in, but both bands are on tour and I think they’re both out on the west coast somewhere, and I doubt either band keeps tabs on my show. I barely do myself. But in the absence of them, there’s more room for you. Gimme a jingle. Stop by with a Mountain Dew.

If I get desperate enough, I might rerun the in-studio with Pete Bernhard from just about a year ago in advance of his sold-out solo show with The Huntress & Holder Of Hands and O’Death at Next Stage in Putney. Since that’s a maybe, feel free to listen on your own now:

A nice exchange in the comments of that video:
“What is the song Pete plays at 10:15?”
“I’ve searched high and low, I’m 99% sure this is the only time he recorded it. Might be my favorite song by him too.”

I did attempt to drum up a couple things, but the ball didn’t come back to me. If life had unfolded differently (as it already has in an alternate universe in which all of our lives are awesome), there might have been an interview with Ross Daly that would have been really, really cool. He’s playing Stone Church with Kelly Thoma on the 26th: Contemporary Modal Music.

And there might have been a conversation with Tara Greenblatt, who is heading up a big shindig at Mole Hill on the 25th with the Tara Greenblatt Band, Libby Kirkpatrick, Polly Wood, Briena Pearl, and Andrew Hannah that’s going to be an exceptional evening: Volition.

Ross or Tara are also most welcome to call or stop by if they wish. But they’re out on the west coast right now too for all I know.

Nothing wrong with PSAs and papers!

R. T. Hamilton Brown interview

Windham County Economic Development Program Project Manager RT Hamilton Brown joined us in the studio to talk about the help that’s out there for local businesses and entrepreneurs, and to share some thoughts about community development.

Border Pete!

I cornered Border Pete, host of Border Radio, after the board meeting. There’s absolutely no reason for me to be posting this. Except it was fun. There was roaches and rum.

Old Crow Medicine Show PLUS Cold River Ranters

I accidentally saw Old Crow Medicine Show 15 years ago. And they were good, these kids playing rippin’ bluegrass. It was at the Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg NY, in 2002. (Del McCoury played the same stage the next day, and Samite of Uganda as well in what’s still the most transcendent music performance I’ve ever seen.) Anyway. Old Crow Medicine Show. They’d met as buskers in nearby Ithaca NY in the late ’90s, and I saw them when the fame and accolades had just started rolling in… but before the agony of Wagon Wheel that they’d later unleash on the world. That said, I’d swear they played it.

They put out a best-of collection earlier this month, and in the first hour of the program this week I’m going to play a track-by-track commentary hosted by Jessie Scott with band members Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua. So, yeah, you’re gonna hear Wagon Wheel on Monsters and Hamsters. That’s a one-time deal.

Then in the second hour: The rumors are true… We’re expecting a phone call from Tom Jawbone of the awesomely cool hot gonzo primitive folk jive band The Cold River Ranters to talk about all the things.

Monsters and Hamsters on WOOL-FM every Wednesday night from 7 to 9, broadcasting live at 91.5 in the service area and streaming worldwide from www.wool.fm

New look for the website

This morning when I turned on my laptop, it went to a black screen with a warning about a cooling fan not working right, and it shut itself down. Needless to say, I freaked. Things seemed to be OK after a second startup attempt, but I’ve spent the last several hours babysitting the backups I’ve neglected to run for months and months.

So I took advantage of the screen time to change up the website. It’s a mostly-stock template that I’ll probably make increasingly less attractive over time. Enjoy it now.

Eight O’Five Jive’s Andy Scheinman

Had a chat with former Vermonter Andy Scheinman, who’s down in Nashville these days with the jumpin’ blues and swing band Eight O’Five Jive. They’ve got a new album out named Swing Set and they’re headed for the big International Blues Challenge in Memphis right about now. Recorded January 30, 2017. Includes four songs from the new one.

Pete Remembers Woody

When WOOL-FM upgraded from its low-power license to the full-power one it has now, the first thing over the air was an obscure recording of Woody Guthrie singing This Land Is Your Land.

I like that song, I love the lyric, but I’ve never been a real big fan of old social-justice folk that Woody inspired. Maybe it’s because I didn’t live in the time when that music was the soundtrack for a sweeping social movement. But I’m aware of the history of those tumultuous years, and I’m concerned about the ways that these times are mirroring those. The interview I did recently with Peter Yarrow touched pretty heavily on that stuff.

I never saw Woody perform because he died before I turned six. I saw Pete Seeger once in the ’80s, and he didn’t spark for me. But those two were pals, and their music changed the world. For the better, I think. The other day I came across a 2012 program called Pete Remembers Woody — it’s terrific. It’s an old guy remembering his old friend and old times.

I’m going to play it on Monsters & Hamsters this week. Wednesday night starting at 7:00 Eastern, 91.5 FM hereabouts and streaming from www.wool.fm everywhere else.

Interview: Charlie Evett

The GrooveBarber’s powerhouse and jocular bassman Charlie Evett checked in. The group will bring their “acapella rock and soul royalty” (Village Voice) to Next Stage in Putney VT on December 16 in their Annual Acapella Holiday Concert Extravaganza. Charlie gave us the dirt on the other members! Tickets to the show to see how all that works out are available from www.nexststagearts.org

Interview: Sean Altman

Had loads of fun talking with Sean Altman of JEWMONGOUS, The GrooveBarbers, Everly Set, Rockapella, Blind Dates, Moon Pudding (is that an actual thing, moon pudding?), and more. So beloved is he in these parts that he’s going to be at Next Stage in Putney, Vermont, twice this month: with The GrooveBarbers for the annual GrooveBarbers’ Holiday Concert Extravaganza on December 16, and bringing JEWMONGOUS to that stage for the first time on December 23. Tickets and more info at www.nexststagearts.org

Interview: Peter Yarrow

Yeah, still on hiatus. Did another interview anyway.

Had a chat on the phone with Peter Yarrow in advance of his concert at the Bellows Falls Opera House coming up on December 8. For those who don’t know: this is Peter of Peter, Paul and Mary. They sang with Martin Luther King on stage during the ’63 march on Washington (the one that the “I Have A Dream” speech is from), and had three of the top six slots on Billboard’s album chart the week Kennedy was assassinated. Talk about mixed feelings. Peter was on hand when Dylan caused a furor by going electric at the Newport Folk Festival, and he was a founder of Kerrville’s New Folk Series. Plus he wrote the music for Puff The Magic Dragon.

This man is still firmly planted in the activist folksinger garden, and I suspect we’re all better off for it.

He turned the tables on me off the bat with some good questions about Bellows Falls and the Opera House, but we kicked into gear quickly after that. There were things to say about politics lately and the positive path forward, the state of the nation and its citizens, and Standing Rock. We also glanced off some heyday highlights and his history in history, got into the nature of folk and of fame, the fact that he has six toes, and other fancy stuff.

Two new songs and two old ones are interspersed. Songs are included in this on-demand format with permission of the artist.

Tickets for the concert online at www.vermontfestivalsllc.com or tickets.catamountarts.org